Bandai Co. Ltd. announced in Japan on Friday that it is abandoning the Pippin Atmark machine, a Mac OS-based set top box with gaming and Internet capabilities, and liquidating the Japanese leg of Bandai Digital Entertainment, the unit formed to support the machine on March 13.
The Pippin machine never quite caught on in the US or in Japan, selling just 30,000 machines in Japan and 12,000 in the US. Bandai Digital Entertainment said that it will dispose of existing inventories of 50,000 units.
BDE's Japanese facilities and employees will be absorbed into other divisions of Bandai.
In the US, Bandai Digital Entertainment's John McGanty told GS News that the company was refocusing its efforts towards the PC market and has several products on the way, including a DigiMon title for Windows CE-based platforms. Its web browser for kids, SurfMonkey, goes on sale in a few months. In the US and Europe, BDE has stopped supporting the Pippin - but will certainly continue on in some form.
In the US, Bandai Digital Entertainment not only produced the Pippin Atmark, but also the Tamagotchi CD-ROM (developed by 7th Level) and Dragon Ball GT for the PlayStation.